Multichoice is currently running a campaign to trade-in their older SD PVR decoders for the newer Explora discounted to R1 499 from R1 999.
Tucked away into the “reasons to trade in the SD PVR”, aside from the “fantastic exclusive discount”, are two pieces of bad news for anyone still using the old decoder:
The SD PVR decoder will no longer be supported. This means that if it breaks or stops working, we can no longer repair it
DStv will be launching a new satellite in 2017. This new satellite will use frequencies that the SD PVR decoder isn’t able to receive. This means that some channels and services will be lost when the move happens
We tracked down a very old release from Multichoice concerning the matter which was first published on January 1st 2014. You can read it in full here but it boils down to the SD PVR’s hardware being outdated and not able to support the newer frequencies and amount of channels.
The hardware of the device is also an issue, as Multichoice states that they stopped manufacturing it seven years ago (now nine) and that they no longer have the licence to make these decoders.
This used to allow subscribers to connect either the SD PVR or a Dual View decoder to another decoder, creating three screens displaying DStv content under one subscription.
Come 2017 or the eventual breakdown of the older decoders, and this will no longer be possible. Multichoice does offer a way to create a similar experiance, but it will involve additional purchases of decoders and/or subscriptions.
So, what if you currently own the SD PVR? If you don’t want to trade-in for the Explora and the R1 499, you better hope you have decoder insurance (called a “Decoder Care Contract” or DCC). If the decoder ceases to work, Multichoice will not be able to repair it and will replace it with an Explora, as per the terms of the insurance. If you didn’t sign up for DCC, it’s too late now.
Aside from the above, Multichoice offers so many different packages that your best bet is to call or email them and request direction as the service changes. Hopefully it doesn’t mean you’ll be paying more.
[Sources – SD PVR Decoder lifecycle / DStv trade in offer , Image – DStv]